poker troubles

I Don't Know if It's Important for Me to Excel at Poker Anymore

playing pokerI haven't played poker for a few months now. Probably the last time I played was when I was in Las Vegas in October. It might have been sometime before that or just after that trip when I last played poker online. The new update on Lock Poker took away all the fish, and I just don't have the time to play and to study like I used to, especially since I have my part-time news app gig as well as my clients to attend to. At this point, I'm strongly considering withdrawing what I have left of my deposit and putting poker on the shelf. I certainly don't have the time to study and to improve my game, let alone play the game and assess what I did right or wrong. I have other priorities that require my attention. As much as I like poker, and how badly poker needs strong female players, I don't know if it's all that important to me to excel at poker anymore.

Winning a Few Titles Would Be Great But...

My heart is not in poker like it used to be, and I think I wanted the success of poker (the money, the fame, the accolades) for the wrong reasons. I made this realization when I watched a Marie Forleo interview with self-help guru Danielle LaPorte. The interview is over 20 minutes, and I understand that LaPorte might come across as a little too hippie for some people, but the basic takeaway I got from this interview was that goal setting was entirely backwards. Goals are set regardless of how we want to feel, so we set goals, fail to reach them, and feel horrible about it. We set goals, change our mind about those goals, and then feel horrible about it. We set goals, but it takes longer than we planned to reach them, so we feel horrible about the time it took to reach that goal. We set goals, exceed them with flying colors, and still feel horrible about it because we feel we should have set a bigger goal. The point is to decide on how we want to feel first, and then set goals that get us there.

This explanation of goal setting blew my mind, and caused me to evaluate the goals I have set for myself and to determine how I want to feel. That's why I think my poker goals were set for the wrong reasons. I think I set them because I thought the rewards would do certain things and would make me feel a certain way. I don't know if those thing would be true if I were to achieve those goals. Also, with our desired feelings (as explained in the interview), these feeling shouldn't be attached to external factors. Feeling a certain way shouldn't rely on someone else's actions or having a specific something. I think my poker goals relied on external factors contributing to my feelings, which is why I don't think I set them for the right reasons or wanted to reach my poker goals for the right reasons.

About Those Desired Feelings

I haven't taken the time to think about my desired feelings, but once I heard about the concept, I identified a few feelings that I didn't want to feel. They were negative feelings that I've been experiencing a lot lately, and I felt that something I could do now is to take actions that remove those negative feelings. For example, I don't like being stressed. That's a negative emotion, so I think about what I can do to remove stress. Usually, this has been accomplished by tackling an unpleasant task first, which helps a great deal in making me feel productive. Once I turn these small actions into habits, then I'll start thinking about my desired feelings and the positive feelings that I want to have. They can't just be the opposites of the negative feelings, like the opposite of stressed is relaxed. I don't know I really want relaxed or relaxation as a desired feeling. But, this is why I'm going to dedicate time to sorting this out on another day.

Why I Love Poker

love of pokerI love poker. Unfortunately, I haven't played online in a while. The site that I use did a complete overhaul of their software. Not only is the layout completely different, albeit better, but part of the overhaul meant changing their server provider. So, you had to take a "scenic route" to get the update by going to the website, re-downloading the software, and logging in using your email address instead of your screen name. Getting used to the layout was difficult, but doable, but because downloading the update was somewhat convoluted, I lost all of the lovely fishies that I could take advantage of in the sit-n-gos. I also lost my sit-n-go action, as with the launch of the new software, the only place for action at my stakes were the six-max cash game tables. Quite the opposite of my bread and butter. I'm waiting the whole thing out so that more fishies join the site again. Anyway, I digress. To celebrate my love of poker, and perhaps inspire me to get back in the game, I am watching/listening to my favorite episode of High Stakes Poker. It's Season 4, Episode 1. How can you not love the deuce-seven game?

How My Love of Poker Started

My fiance (my boyfriend at the time) first taught me how to play poker back in 2010. When I first learned, I didn't take the game too seriously. My intention was to know how to play so I could play with our friends. I had no interest in studying the game or in doing anything to improve my skill. That changed when I started watching poker on television.

Since my boyfriend/fiance and I liked poker, poker was something that both us could agree on watching. It was when I started watching tournaments, like the World Poker Tour, and saw that there were hardly any women playing. I didn't like that so few women were playing, so I decided that the only way to fix that was to take poker seriously and to do what it takes to get to the level of playing in the WPT. After all, you need to be the change that you want to see in the world, and I've loved the game ever since.

It Took Me a Little While to Get to Real Money

When I decided to get serious back in 2010, I was also scared to start playing with real money against real people. I needed to learn more and to practice more first. So, I started with a computer game playing AI called Governor of Poker 2. This actually turned out be a really great game because the plot is amazing!. The final boss is the governor of Texas, who wants to ban poker from the state. To beat the game, you need to play the governor in a heads-up Texas Hold 'Em match, best of three. If you win, then you get to become the governor of Texas and poker remains legal. I think all higher offices should be determined through heads-up poker matches.

Anyway, once I beat the game and felt more comfortable, I moved over to play money tables on Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker. I focused only on sit-n-gos and spent my time building my "bankroll". I started with hold 'em, but I did spend some time playing eight-game sit-n-gos, which I really enjoyed and wish I could play again. But, I live in the United States and I can't use Pokerstars to play the eight-game sit-n-gos, and Pokerstars is the only site that has them. Sure, I could do the play money tables, but at this point in my poker adventures, play money is rather boring. Anyway, I built my "bankroll" and got to a point after a year or so where play money wasn't fun anymore.

Real Money is a Completely Different Beast

It really is. I joined a poker forum to post hands and to discuss strategy, although since I haven't been playing in a while, I haven't been posting much lately. The forum has helped a great deal, and offers tons of strategy articles that I still need to read. My initial goal when I started with real money was to double my deposit. The closest I got was a 50% increase, and right now I am at 20 or 25% decrease from the initial deposit. I'm down, but I still love poker. The swings are part of the game.

I am Back at Lab1500!

lab1500After almost a two-month hiatus, changing the direction of my business, giving my laptop a bath, and accommodating my night owl habits, I'm finally back in Lab1500 working again! It's so nice to be back in downtown St. Louis, typing away at my favorite table and getting more things done than ever before. I get lots more done here than I do at home, and that is still the case today as it was in the beginning of the year when I first joined Lab1500. This is exciting because, as of yesterday, I was one-third of the way to my file cabinet (which I understand costs, like $25, if I know where to look, but the point is to work for it so it's a huge achievement and my home office is that much better when I finally get it). At this rate, I'll have that file cabinet in another month. Perhaps I'll be able to get a bookshelf or a dresser too.

Being SuperBetter is Super Amazing

It's only been one day of me playing SuperBetter, and I'm already having a blast and feeling extra motivated to do everything! It' so easy to get caught up doing quests, using power ups, and killing the bad guys. I also love how all this can be incorporated into my day and into my own Inferno of Productivity game. I get a point when I complete my SuperBetter quests for the day, and what I plan to do over the next few weeks and months is incorporate other goals and tasks into SuperBetter i.e. poker goals, business goals etc. In SuperBetter, you can create your own Power Packs, with its own set of bad guys, power ups, and quests. It would be really cool if I could eventually do this with my own goals, and then write blog posts on how to set these up so others can do them as well. It's exciting because I am essentially talking about a game, but I am also talking about building identity capital and helping others. It would also be really neat to create a Power Pack that works in conjunction with one of Stirring Media's digital content sites. I don't see how coffee would work for this, unless a lot of people really want to increase their daily coffee intake, but it's a good vision nonetheless.

I Want to Play Poker Tonight

Because I am burning in my inferno of productivity (Completing this blog posts puts me at 1o points for the day! And it's only 4 p.m.! I am amazing!), I do believe I will play poker once I get home and have my dinner. I will play at least three sit-n-gos at the smallest stakes, since I haven't played in a while. I played one over the weekend, and I won that, but I did get lucky in a few spots. I don't see it as too much indication of my skill level.

I'm making it a point to get back into playing again and to go for some of those items on my life goals/bucket list because two women have won an open event at the World Series of Poker, and I AM NOT ONE OF THEM! Too much time is passing with me wishing I was playing more poker and being more awesome and winning tournaments. Spending too much time wishing and dreaming, and not enough time making it happen. I need to change this, and then create a Power Pack for this so I can add it to my SuperBetter.

In the meantime, I will try to make it 11 points.

The Notebook of Interesting Topics & Poker Troubles

poker troublesI was worried that I wouldn't get around to writing this piece, but "technical difficulties" have taken place on the poker site I use, and my tournament has been paused for at least the past 15 minutes. I played one hand and then got booted from the servers. When I was finally able to get reconnected, the lobby wasn't showing me any available tournaments, ring games, or sit and go's. I was able to take my seat again 15 minutes ago, when the tournament was paused and site announced that all tournaments have been paused to address issues. Have no idea how long this is going to take.

So... that Notebook

In the summer of 2009, I put together a notebook of interesting topics. All of these topics were taken from, of which I had written a few articles for way back when, and it was my intention to write on these topics for the website. These topics covered a wide range of subjects, from African cultures to chemistry, from Islam to ecology and environment. I never did get around to writing on any of these things for the site (I wasn't going to get paid anyway), and for most of them I couldn't tell you what the topic is or why I found it interesting four years ago.

I do need to go through them and decide which ones I'm still interesting in writing on, and get them on that editorial calendar. No, I didn't get around to scheduling more ideas, or even coming up with them. This notebook of weird and interesting topics should help. Helium has also completely redesigned their site and how people create content, so it's not the easy minefield for topics that it used to be. Maybe I can do that now, since I have an indefinite wait for my tournament to restart, and perhaps I could win this one by having the luxury and willpower to wait it out while everyone else considers it a loss and does something else. I admit, I'm afraid I'm going to miss that it restarts, and then I end up folding pocket aces and kicking myself for doing something else with my time.

Or not...

First, the site says that all tournaments are cancelled and that remaining players will be paid out according to the policy. Okay, great. I at least will get my buy-in back. Then, I go back to the table and I'm being dealt a hand. Don't get me wrong, because I'll play. It's just now weird and confusing. The tournament is now on its hourly five-minute break.

Scratch that..

After the tournament went on break, it officially got cancelled and the site said that the tournament will be paid out according to the cancellation policy. It took a quick Google search, since I couldn't find anything on the site's own website (they could use a good marketing agency, hint hint nudge nudge), to find their cancellation policy, and here it is:

50/50 Tournament Policy

If a tournament is canceled before the money, we will try to compensate all remaining players based on their play up to the time of the cancellation. This is best achieved by awarding 50% of the prize pool to all remaining players and the other 50% of the prize pool will be awarded proportionately based on each player's chip count. All remaining players will also receive a refund of their entry fee. Any player who was eliminated prior to the cancellation will not be entitled to a refund. All awards for a tournament canceled in progress will be cash. If the canceled tournament has a guaranteed prize pool, only the entry fee will be returned (not the guaranteed prize).


Considering that everyone played, like, three hands, and it was a $400 guaranteed (where $400 is automatically added to the prize pool, no matter how many players enter), it looks like I'll make a few on this one. Awesome.

Now, I'll go do something more constructive with my time, since I've just finished going through somewhat of a fiasco.